Rare Prattware 'Martha Gunn' pottery pipe.


A fine and rare English pottery pipe, c. 1800. Well modelled as Martha Gunn, seated upon a whicker basket, holding a cat, and smoking a large pipe. Two coiled serpents, attached at her back, forming the remainder of the pipe. Decorated in typical Pratt colours, under a pearlware glaze.
Height - 12.8 cm, 5".
Width - 16.5 cm, 6 1/2".
Condition - Repair to end of pipe. Otherwise in excellent condition.

“Martha Gunn, the Brighton Bathing Woman”
Martha Gunn (1726-1815) was a “dipper”, or an operator of bathing machines, in 18th century Brighton. She became famous for her perceived relationship with the Prince of Wales (later George IV). Her popularity was such, that she became known as "The Venerable Priestess of Bath”, and novelty items were made in her image, including Toby Jugs, and more rarely, pipes.

Literature: Portrait of Martha Gunn, Brighton's most famous "Bathing Woman", painted by an unknown 18th Century artist (c1785). This oil painting was given to Brighton Museum & Art Gallery by Chris Gunn of Australia, a direct descendant of Martha Gunn.' [Royal Pavilion, Art Gallery and Museums Brighton]

Medium: Earthenware

Height:  12.80 cm, 5.04"
Width:  16.50 cm, 6.50"

Condition: Condition - Repair to end of pipe. Otherwise in excellent condition.

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